There once was a pigeon named Joseph. He was a full-feather bird with great opinions and grand ideas. He decided to join two other pigeons and establish a community in a place where three small streams came together. All was well for a time until Joseph decided that the other two birds weren’t bringing enough breadcrumbs back to the community. He attempted to stir his fellow feathered friends to greater heights, but he was always disappointed with their efforts. In Joseph’s mind they were failing the community, even though the village itself seemed to be thriving. In a ruffle of feathers and with the fury of his beak, Joseph began to attack the other two pigeons in the village square before all the other birds. Great confusion ensued. When the dust settled, Joseph stormed away with the few birds that saw things as he did. They all left the little village by way of a swamp called Marah. Trudging through those murky water they all became contaminated by the mud that clung to their feet and legs. Seeing the repulsive slim covering them they decided to ignore it. In a short while it began to dry until the mud was as hard as a rock. Everywhere the little group went, bits of the dried mud could be seen marring the landscape. The slime had a repulsive odor that Joseph and his friends could not smell.
With great opinions and with grand ideas, Joseph decided to establish a new community on a frozen pond to the north of the village where the three streams came together. All seemed well in this tiny village on the frozen pond until the mud from the swamp called Marah began to burn into the icy surface. Joseph and his friends ignored the mess that the mud was making, choosing instead to believe that in time all would be washed away. But then one day as Joseph was making a great speech, the ice below his feet cracked and the entire community of pigeons sank into the frozen pond never to be heard of again… In my next article, which will be in the new year, I will interpret the parable.